Monday, May 25, 2015

A Happy Birthday and a Little Logic

via Ripounet/WikimediaCommons
For starters, I'll just note that this is a verrrry Memorial Day indeed (apart from the American Holiday)... it is Raymond Smullyan's 96th birthday... and THAT is cause for celebration (as well as a day off), be you a knave or a knight!
In Dr. Smullyan's honor I'll offer this thought-provoking question:  IF Ray confided in you that he was a pathological liar... would you believe him?...

Moving on, as a professional logician, I'm sure Ray appreciates the "Wason Selection Task," a simple-seeming reasoning test that most of you have likely seen in one form or another, and that most people err on the first time they attempt it (picking 2 cards out of 4 to confirm an initial supposition). But do people mess up because of the logic involved or simply because of the wording? A wonderful piece on the Wason test from Nautilus tries to address that question:

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